Xiaoman Ren

65 Maximiliana 

By Max Ernst

Punisher: Le Degr├ę 41 (Iliazd), Paris

┬ęSociety (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Conceptualizing and designing my project

I think it is a good idea to start projects by researching the area to develop ideas, seek knowledge and to determine what already exists.

ÔÇťTo start, I ask myself a question before I start: What am I interested in?ÔÇŁ

I will begin creating my work by thinking about my primary interests.

If my project involves my interests, it may already involve something I have the expertise and emotional excitement with.

An example:

I am interested in dance and new technology!

My research question is: 

ÔÇťHow is new technology influence the choreography of a dance performance?ÔÇŁ

GOLEM X APPOLO by Arnaud Pottier

Useful tools

Now I start a broad research.

For ÔÇťdance and new technologyÔÇŁ, it is good to research in chronological order.

I have a good example from visual artist and new media designer, Vibha Kulkarni of a time line, which helped her to dive into intense research that leads to innovative ways of creating immersive experiences.

To know more, click here. 


Title: Annabelle Serpentine Dance

A short film realized for kinetoscope



The first augmented reality modules

by American engineer Ivan Sutherland



title: DUST

by a group Prague-based independent artists

Andrej Boleslavsk├Ż, M├íria J├║dov├í, Patricia Okenwa, etc.

If my topic is about ÔÇťthe choreography of gender: masculinity, femininity in wedding dance traditionÔÇŁ, I think it is a good idea for me to research geographically.

In this case, I will use mapping. 

If my topic is about ÔÇťbody image in belly danceÔÇŁ, it might be a good idea to conduct a series interviews.

For example, I plan to interview 7 belly dancers in Amman, addressing issues of body image and gender identity. In this case, I will create a mood board of the interviews with many names, photos, and videos.


Document my discoveries

After broad research, I become familiar with the terminology of the area.

I also have many interesting discoveries!

I will try to write them down.

My unique perspective

At this stage, I have decided my research question is: How is new technology influence the choreography of a dance performance?

As I conceptualize my project, I will try and think about my unique perspective in relation to our ideas, and think about how I can best communicate our idea to our audience.

I am trying to be as original as possible.

I ask myself what to use?

  • Stage lighting
  • Background projection
  • Screens: Smartphone, Tablet, TV, Computer
  • Projection mapping
  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual reality
  • Game consoles
  • Dance software, dance app
  • Interactive costumes
  • Online Platform
  • Audio-visual
  • Video conference

I ask myself which direction to choose?

  • Dance games
  • Dance learning
  • Collaboration across distance
  • Interactive/participatory with audience
  • Dancers interact with technology, such as projection, robots, hologram
  • Audience experiencing a translation of dance in the form of audio or visual
  • Dance sonic costume, dance sonic props

by Fredrik “Benke” Rydman

7 September 2018

Key Questions

  • Why (purpose)
  • Who (involving)
  • How (tech enabler)
  • When (phase)
  • Where (platform)

LetÔÇÖs answer Why:

  1. Collaboration across the world beyond time and space
  2. Encourage diverse collaboration beyond art
  3. Using limitation/boundaries as a method of chorography
  4. To address the way a dancer perceive him or herself
  5. The impact of technology on the nature of movement

LetÔÇÖs answer Who:

  1. Dancer
  2. Audience

LetÔÇÖs answer Where:

  1. Stage
  2. Virtual space

LetÔÇÖs answer How:

  1. Virtual reality
  2. Kinetic game

LetÔÇÖs answer When:

  1. Learning & experiment
  2. Choreograph
  3. Performance
Hand Frame -- pencil drawing Hand Frame

Write my concept note

Now I will start to write a paper about my research.

Here I would love to share with you a template of the concept note for your project.

Part 1: Title 

Part 2: Body

  • Background – present relevant contextual material
  • My topic – explain the focus of the paper and your specific purpose
  • Create my mood board with names, texts, images, videos, audios
  • 1 or 2 case studies of the most inspiring related projects done by someone else, summarize, analyze, explain, and evaluate these cases
  • My findings ÔÇô feel free to present your findings in tables, charts, graphs
  • My production plan
  • My budget

Part 3: Reference

primary vs. secondary sources, suggestions from your instructor

Hand Frame -- pencil drawing Hand Frame

Bonus – Examples of an in-depth case study

During my research, what are my favorite projects done by other people?

It is the first virtual reality Ballet in the World – NIGHT FALL (360┬░ video) by Dutch National Ballet.

360┬░ VR Ballet

We can watch this First VR Ballet show on the mobile app of Youtube on the smartphones.

But for the best experience, it is  recommend that audiences use Samsung Gear VR or a smartphone in combination with a Cardboard.


Title: Night Fall

by Dutch National Ballet

September 2016

The story behind VR Ballet

Like with many classical ballet pieces, Night Fall opens with a group of ballerinas. Unlike known ballets this dance doesnÔÇÖt take place on stage but in a warehouse.

And we the audience isnÔÇÖt watching from our seats, but are actually part of the piece.

In September 2016, the Dutch National Ballet, the NetherlandsÔÇÖ Nationale Opera & Ballet based in Amsterdam, paved a new path in the world of classical dance by releasing the first-ever VR ballet.

The haunting short piece transports viewers into a magical reality led by a single violinist, using creative lighting, sound, specialized choreography, and even CGI to deliver a fully immersive experience.

Nationale Opera & BalletÔÇÖs marketing manager Harm-Jan Keizer explains that the ballet was first conceived in September 2015 after the company was first exposed to VR by watching a piece of Orchestra.

ÔÇťAfter a few minutes you started to feel bored, because you were just there standing on a stage,ÔÇŁ he tells The Creators Project over the phone. ÔÇťYou felt like you were a ghost in a place where you didnÔÇÖt really belong. Nobody was looking at you.ÔÇŁ

ÔÇö Harm-Jan Keizer

VAN Beethoven project

by Los Angeles Philharmonic


With that in mind, the company decided to create a 360┬░ video where the dancers performÔÇöand, in a way, directly interactÔÇöwith the viewer.

ÔÇťIf you create a ballet, you create it for stage,ÔÇŁ Harm-Jan Keizer says.

ÔÇťAs a dancer, you have one focus point, and thatÔÇÖs the audience. But if youÔÇÖre working for virtual reality, then depending on where you are in the room, you have to change your direction. The choreography should really be different. So we realized we had to make something new. A new ballet.ÔÇŁ

Audience reaction

So far, Night Fall has been a success, and not just with art critics. It has garnered attention from tech blogs and dance publications alike, bringing a diverse crowd together.

ÔÇťPeople were all blown away,ÔÇŁ Nationale Opera & BalletÔÇÖs marketing manager Harm-Jan Keizer says, remembering some of the early reactions to the immersive video. ÔÇťFor most [viewers], it was the first time they ever saw something in virtual reality or the first time theyÔÇÖve experienced ballet, because it was open to everyone.ÔÇŁ

ÔÇťIt is a good way to get people interested in ballet,ÔÇŁ Harm-Jan Keizer continues, commenting on the fact that classical ballet is usually viewed as niche in todayÔÇÖs world.

ÔÇťIf you present it in a way [using] virtual reality, and people are interested in that, then they might be more open to it. They see what ballet can be. Then they might be interested in seeing it in real life.ÔÇŁ

Who is the choreographer?

Choreographer Peter Leung created this unique experience for Dutch National Ballet.

The choreography is inspired by the famous ÔÇťwhite actsÔÇŁ from Swan Lake, La Bayad├Ęre and Les Sylphides, which are regarded as the purest form of ballet, with a unique and magical atmosphere.

The music was especially composed for the film by Robin Rimbaud (Scanner) and is performed by violinist Pieter van Loenen. Dutch National Ballet created Night Fall in co-production with &samhoud media and Chester Music. The film is powered by Samsung.

Choreographic video game

This isnÔÇÖt the first time Dutch National Ballet has been on the foreground of changing the way society views ballet, making it more accessible to different audiences by using new media.

In fact, theyÔÇÖve prided themselves on their innovation for decades.

ÔÇťIn the 70s, we were one of the first companies who included video of live performances,ÔÇŁ Nationale Opera & BalletÔÇÖs marketing manager Harm-Jan Keizer says. ÔÇťA couple of years ago we created a video game for the smartphone. We really saw that this was in line with those projects.ÔÇŁ

Video game website – here

How to play – here


This game is for two players, with choreography by the Dutch National Ballet.

Twist and twirl elegantly, or get entangled with a friend.

Holding either end of a device, you tilt the device around a virtual sphere following a path of rings.

You swing your arms and twist your body, and before you know it, you are already dancing.

Bounden was featured on the New York Times, the Guardian, BBC, The Verge, Mashable, Kotaku, GiantBomb, Joystiq, Destructoid, and many others.

WhatÔÇÖs more?

Beyond just this VR piece, the Dutch National Ballet uses other technology, namely the internet, to pique the interest of non-connoisseurs.

They were one of the first companies to create a successful Instagram, deliver extensive live-streaming experiences, and even take on viral phenomena, with the most recent example being their magical “mannequin challenge” to promote their performance of the old favorite, Coppelia.

*Mannequin Challenge: It is a viral Internet video trend which became popular in November 2016, in which people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them. The hashtag #MannequinChallenge was used for popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

Mannequin challenge

by Dutch National Ballet


Why use new technology?

Now the Dutch National Ballet are working on longform VR pieces, whether they be adaptations of classic ballets or more modern work.

ÔÇťBallet has this exclusive thing to it,ÔÇŁ Nationale Opera & BalletÔÇÖs marketing manager Harm-Jan Keizer explains. ÔÇťWe have a theater with 1,600 seats and there are like 200 performances a year. ThatÔÇÖs your limit. ThatÔÇÖs how many people you can reach with this art form.

But with the whole internet, and all the possibilities that are out there, you have the opportunity to get in touch with more people and reach out to more people with the art form, and also to show what it takes to be a ballet company. What it takes to be a dancer, what it takes to be a choreographer.ÔÇŁ

ÔÇťIf youÔÇÖre only going to a performance, then you donÔÇÖt see the work, the amount of training, the amount of work of the costume department, the people who are working behind-the-scenes. You donÔÇÖt see it when youÔÇÖre only seeing a performance,ÔÇŁ he says. ÔÇťPlatforms like YouTube, Facebook, and all the other big social media give a great opportunity for us to show what the art form is about.ÔÇŁ

The company, however, isnÔÇÖt just using apps and social media to entertain an adult audience, but to teach younger people, some of most active innovation consumers, about the so-called archaic art form. ÔÇťWhat weÔÇÖre trying to do now is create education programs to go to schools ÔÇö especially schools which are further away from AmsterdamÔÇöto get kids and young people who canÔÇÖt come to a theater and giving them the opportunity with virtual reality to experience the beauty of ballet,ÔÇŁ he says. ÔÇťWe want to show that we are part of society, part of the world, and make it accessible for everyone. We really see that as part of our mission as a ballet company.ÔÇŁ

Bonus – Game – Make 6 things

I discovered this game from the book A ChoreographerÔÇÖs Handbook by Jonathan Burrows.

It is a book for anyone interested in making performance, at whatever level and in whichever style.

You can find game in Chapter: ÔÇô Continuity / Sectional pieces / Material / Make six things / of A ChoreographerÔÇÖs Handbook.

Hand Frame -- pencil drawing Hand Frame

Step 1

Use 6 small objects and make an installation, placing them in the right order.

*Installation: Installations are often three-dimensional works that are desiand sculpture is that installations focuses more on the arrangement use, use of space and surrounding environment within the artwork. While sculptures usually focuses on the main gned to transform the perception of a space. The main difference between installation subject. Sculptures thus is not site specific, usually are not seen with surrounding environment as a whole.

Step 2

Add one idea that breaks our expectation of whatÔÇÖs happening. Tell us about your installation. What does it mean?

Step 3

Then try making 6 movements and putting them in the right order to represent your installation.

Remember if you have an idea you want to pursue and you want to show it in movement, then you had better find the right language to say it.

Hand Frame -- pencil drawing Hand Frame

Some of the outcomes from participants

We had 23 emerging young artists, semi- professional and amateur artists of performing arts, visual arts background, arts education background participating in this inculcation program.

The participants were given training in the art of choreography with skills development in directing, researching, presentation, leadership, and production. Participants are encouraged to think critically about dance performance from the point of view of makers, performers, audiences, and society. They are also encouraged to research ÔÇô in various forms ÔÇô online, at the library, in archives, via interviews etc.

To know more, click here. 

The images below are some of the outcomes of the ÔÇťMake 6 thingsÔÇŁ game.┬á

Sarah Raji

Length of the movements: 23 seconds 

Akka Hamdan

Length of the movements: 15 seconds 

This session starts at 4:00 pm (Friday), 18th, September, 2020.

Who is the speaker?

Who is the speaker?

The Manual Content

The Manual Content